Rent at a luxury Southampton flat owned by Jeremy Hunt soared by 18 per cent as the Chancellor was urging pay restraint for everyone else, the Mirror has reported.

Tenants moving into one of the Chancellor of Exchequer’s apartments in Ocean Village last summer had an increase of £300 a month.

Mr Hunt had previously declared that he owns seven flats in Ocean Village in the House of Commons members’ register of financial interest.

Now, an investigation by the Daily Mirror and campaign group Led by Donkeys, has revealed previous tenants at the property owned by Mr Hunt and his wife’s firm Mare Pond Properties Limited were paying rent of £1,700 a month.

When the tenants moved out in August last year, letting agents put it on the market for £1,850 a month, a nine per cent increase.

READ MORE: Jeremy Hunt criticised over ownership of luxury Southampton apartments

However, due to high demand, a bidding war ensued during which several offers were rejected, The Mirror was told.

The winner ended up paying more than £2,000 per month, which amounts to an 18 per cent increase, almost twice the rate of inflation at the time.

The housing crisis led to rent rises averaging 10 per cent over the past year.

In October 2022, just weeks after Mr Hunt’s new tenants moved in, he had been made Chancellor.

At the time, he said: “We’re going to have to be asking for ­sacrifices from everyone to get through a very difficult period.”

In December, he argued for pay restraint in the public sector.

He said: “I recognise there are very sincerely held positions by people in the public sector. But the Government too has a sincerely held concern, not to lock in high inflation that is the root cause of their anger.”

TUC General Secretary Paul Nowak told the Mirror: “It is one rule for the rich and powerful, and another rule for everybody else.

“The Chancellor has stayed silent while property ­speculators and ­landlords have imposed ­inflation-busting rents.

“But he and other ministers have repeatedly told workers not to ask for a ­cost-of-living pay rise, despite many facing soaring housing costs.”

Rent for Hunt’s portfolio range from £1,600 to £2,000 a month per flat. That means his buy-to-let company collects around £150,000 a year in rent - almost the same as his combined £159,000 salary as a Cabinet minister and MP.

Mr Hunt declined to comment on the money his company was making from the ­apartments or how much rents had increased.

A spokesman for the Chancellor told the Mirror: “All profits from Mare Pond Properties are donated to charity, as previously confirmed.”

But he would not confirm the amount donated, when the donations were made or which charity or charities had benefitted.